Social Media: Super Bowl Negative Sentiment Analysis
Who’s the best at trash talking – New Yorkers, or Bostonians?
With Super Bowl Sunday coming up in just a few days, our office decided to take a look at the conversations happening around the big game and prove exactly how well each team’s fan base talks trash.
To do this, we started the week running up to the Superbowl by examining conversations happening on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, news sites, and other social hubs. We specifically were interested in how much (and how brutally) fans from each East Coast team were dissing and dismissing each other, so we first got to work identifying the most common insults.
“Suck,” “lose,” “beat,” “hate,” as well as a few choice four-letter words turn out to be the most common themes in sports-themed internet dissing, so we formulated a study that looked for each team’s name in conjunction with these specific negative word associations. Also included in our net were team-specific put-downs, such as fans calling the New England Patriots the “Patsies,” or the New York Giants the “Midgets.”
Forming these studies turns out to be a lot harder than we imagined, since most fans tend to mention both teams in the same sentence along with at least one negative keyword. That makes it hard to filter negative sentiments aimed towards one specific team, since comments like “Patriots suck! Giants will win!” looks similar in search to “Giants suck! Patriots will win!” This makes the ordering of keywords in these queries vital.
It also turns out that quite a few people aren’t excited to see either team. We saw quite a few angry commenters upset that the Cowboys, 49ers, or Packers weren’t in the Superbowl. (We decided to count equal-opportunity trash-talkers for the purposes of our study.)
On Day 1 of our study (the Monday before Superbowl Sunday), both fan bases seem to be laying down the smack talk with equal passion. Patriots fans appear to have a slight edge today, with ONE extra negative comment to take the win.Vengeful Patriots fans also seem to take to Twitter more than Giants fans, while more ruthless Giants fans than Patriots use Facebook.
Stay tuned this week as the Superbowl XLVI gets closer – we’ll be watching to see how the insults start flying, and we’ll be sharing or favorites along with ongoing social insights.